Category Archives: Students


It was an incredible day, proceeded by an incredible day.

Thursday, we had an “emergency, optional” staff meeting.  We were told there would be no more assemblies, no more field trips, no more staff meetings.  No more gatherings larger than class size.  But there was a buzz in the air.  You knew something was up.  I was guessing we would be in school for about 2 more weeks.

Than Friday happened.  Throughout the day 4th grade teachers kept getting emails and watching Facebook posts.  Word spread that other districts were shutting down.  Then somehow, word was spread that we should send the Chromebooks home.  (Yikes!)  The district sent out people to help us cut zip ties on the chargers, and Anne, Ivan, and other school personnel came around to help as well.

Things really were buzzing now.  We tried to keep the students out of the loop for now.  We decided to tell them we were going to let them try taking them home for the weekend.  We thought it would be for a few weeks.  After lunch it was a bit crazy.  I passed out the Chromebooks and wrote down who had which computers.  Then I did a quick lesson so they would know how to email me.  But that’s all.  Then over the intercom the principal came on to tell the kids they were going to take them home for 3 weeks.

The place went crazy.  It was a kid’s dream come true.  I made sure they packed them in their backpacks safely, then walked them out.  It was nuts.  I don’t think anyone was believing what was happening.

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Shauen gave me a not this morning.  I think it was from his dad.  It asked if I could let Shauen use the bathroom when he needs to because his stomach wasn’t feeling too well.  Not a problem.

Shauen did have another problem towards the end of school.  He didn’t like the way Alyssa was talking to him.  That’s a bit typical of Shauen.  If he doesn’t like what you are saying, he has a problem with you.  At least he didn’t wander to the principal’s office.

Alyssa had issues, as well, during math.  Her and Brennen were saying things and bothering each other.  Sure, I could move one of them, but, darn it, they need to learn how to leave each other alone.  When they work together they are really good together!

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Getting Close to Spring Break

BRENNEN was covering his face with his hood, crying and tattling.  At one point he was in tears because someone in his family is in his 70s and wouldn’t see him graduate college.  After recess, he went to the office because he felt sad.

After lunch, he was back in the office.  He was in a fight with Javier V.  Chris saw it and said it was not Brennen’s fault, but the office is handling it (they’ll get to it tomorrow).

SHAUEN told a T.O.S.A. he wanted to go to the office.  He was in tears.  The TOSA sent him back to class, but he never arrived.  I’m guessing he went to the office.  The office later said he was there.  “He was so upset he made himself through up.”

After lunch, I spoke with Shauen.  He claimed He was scared to go back to class.  He claimed that he went to Miss J, then he said he bumped into Mrs. Powell.  But he did say someone in Mrs. Monk’s class was chasing him and saying he was going to kill him.

ALYSSA was tattling on Brennen.  “He’s eating from his backpack.”  The 2 of them were not getting along and trying to get each other in trouble.

Later, Alyssa was standing, putting her crayons back in their box.  I wanted her to sit down, so called her name.  She wouldn’t look at me, she just kept putting her crayons away.  So I repeated myself a few time, each time getting louder.  I made her turn a pin for it, but she acted like she was being picked on.

When I came out after lunch, the male playground supervisor told me she kept on not listening to her.  He said she told her several times to get in line, but she kept not doing as he said.  Alyssa claims he is lying.  She wanted to talk to me about it after lunch, so I had her write it out.

CHRIS was in the office after lunch because he witnessed the “fight” between Javier V. and Brennen.

JAVIER V. was in the office because of the “fight.”  I’m told he will spend remaining recesses in Mrs. Pulliam’s class.

DESTINY wanted to talk to me after lunch as well.  I had her write it out, too.  She was getting into it with AlIYA, ESLY and JANETHLI.

Those 3 also wanted to talk to me after lunch.  I had them write it out.

I don’t know how the office deals with all this crap.

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Inclement Weather

We had another inclement weather day, all day, even though the pavement was dry (for the most part) and the sun was out at lunch.  We did a 20-minute “walk and talk” after lunch since the students weren’t allowed to run on the blacktop.

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Pizza Party

My class was the upper grade class that raised the most money for our Pennies for the Cure fundraiser.  That meant we got a pizza party.  The class still went through the lunch line, but then went right back to our classroom, where 2 pepperoni and 1 cheese pizza was waiting for them.  I even got half a sausage and artichoke pizza for myself.

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Drinking Fountains

Here’s my problem.  I’ve just finished some PE, and my class is tired and thirsty.  I sit my class down at the lunch tables near the drinking fountains, and I let a few go at a time to get a drink.  That way they don’t get restless and into trouble while waiting in a long line.

Then another teacher finishes PE and just lets her entire class run over and get a drink.  Now the lines are very long, and my students have to be in the back of a long line.


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Testing, Day 2

It’s day 2 of testing.  In 4th grade its part 2 for the Language Arts portion.  I hate it how it says “English – Language Arts Test,” as if we give any other language tests.


I like to let my kids get their brains awake before we start testing.  I’ve been told light exercise is good for that, so I like to let my kids run a little, and maybe do some stretching before we head up to the classroom.  Then I want to let them get drinks and use the bathroom so they don’t have to worry about that after we start testing.  Once the testing starts, they aren’t allowed to leave their desks or the classroom.

Once we are in the classroom and ready to start, I have them spread their desks out so they are away from everyone.  Now this year I have the biggest class I have ever had, so when they spread out there isn’t a ton of room between every desk.  But at least they are not right next to someone.

One they are spread out, I pass out the pencils, and then the test booklets and answer documents.  Obviously, it’s important that they get THEIR same answer document, but because there are different versions of the test, it’s important that they get their same testing booklet as well.

Once those are passed out, I read the directions exactly like the Directions for Administration tells me to.  They actually have boxes that say, “Say….”  You are only aloud to say what those boxes say; no more, no less.

Then I let them begin.  They end up getting from about 9:20 till 11:10 (that is our recess).  If they need more time they are escorted to another room where they finish.  I know – that means they don’t get their recess.  It’s a bummer, but I don’t know of any other way.  Throughout the state, they are not allowed to talk with students during the test, in the classroom or outside of it, where they might talk about the test and give away answers.  If you let people who were not done with the test out for recess with those who are finished, there is potential there for cheating.

After recess, we spend the day doing things that are not so rigorous, and we do some math review as well.  Those who did not finish before recess stay in the room they were brought to and stay there until they are done.

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It’s that time of the year again.  Easy on the lesson plans, tough on the nerves; State testing.  We spend the entire year getting ready for it.  We practice for it.  I know many students are stressed about it.  I know a lot of teachers are.

I typically have my students spread their desks out while testing.  This year I was thinking they didn’t do a very good job this year.  They’re all still packed in tight.  Then I remembered the 5 extra students I have this year.  That’s why they are still packed in tight, even when they spread out.

In years passed I’ve given each of my students a roll of Smarties, as a treat, while they are testing.  I like to think it gives them a little break from the test.  This year our district said no mints, no gum, no candies.  Nothing that could give them an unfair advantage.  Really??  I miss snacking on those Smarties.

I find testing to be tiring, for me and my students.  The teachers are told not to be sitting at their desks while the students are testing.  Walk around, monitor, check to make sure students are not skipping questions or answering in the wrong section.  I just find it tiring walking up and down the aisles all morning.

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That One Student

It hit me a couple of days ago.  I don’t have that “one” student.  That one kid whose name I always have to call, that one student who drives me crazy.

I usually have one every year.  I had C last year.  A few years ago it was T.  I had a girl once, K.  She was a handful.  This year there really isn’t anyone.  It must mean I’ll get a really bad kid before the school year is over.


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The Space Shuttle Comes to School

The Endeavor Space shuttle was being flown from Florida to LAX, and it’s last leg of the trip took it right over Anaheim.  We were told to expect it anywhere from 11:30 to 12:30, and it was said to be flying low to let people a good look.

After watching it take off live in the morning, I was excited about having the class see it fly over in the afternoon.  The general consensus from the teachers was to get the kids out out by 11:45, so most of us did.  Now, what do you do with 35 students out on the field, with about 15 other classes of 35 waiting out there as well?

I saw Mrs.  Carver brought out some flash cards, so I borrowed some, and we played a round of “Around the World” with them.  But that took forever, so we just played the one round.  So then I just let the students talk amongst themselves.

It was getting hot out there.  I noticed when we were going out there, that Price School had some classes out there, but as we were coming out, they went back in.  I started wondering if we had missed the whole thing.  I notice some classes were moving to what little shade there was on the field, right against the southern fence.  So eventually, I moved my class there.

A teacher’s husband was watching the process on TV, so he was sending updates to her.  My in-laws just texted me that it had landed at LAX, when all of a sudden I hear some kids start screaming.  I looked over to the northwest and saw the gigantic 747 with the shuttle on top of it just coming into view over the trees.  It looked huge!

The kids went wild!  It looked sooo cool!  It was flying nice and low, so we got a good look at it.  I put my hands in the air and just yelled (I’m not sure why, it just felt right).  Then I tried to video it with are camera.  It turned out that I didn’t really get a good shot of it.  The sun was making it so I couldn’t see the viewfinder.  So when I went to a wide view, it was too small.  But it was cool hearing the kids scream with excitement.  I don’t know why, but they all seemed to run after it and follow it.

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